Legal troubles ahead for HP?

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Legal troubles may lie ahead for Hewlett Packard. California's Attorney General says company insiders at HP could face criminal charges. The charges stem from the company's probe into information leaked to the media. HP allegedly hired detectives to impersonate directors and journalists to get their phone records and other data. Bob Moon reports.


BOB MOON: Some analysts were declaring HP's problems all but defused by the company's boardroom shake-up yesterday. But it turns out there may be still other shoes to drop.

California's top prosecutor is making it clear HP remains very much in his sights. Attorney General Bill Lockyer spoke in an interview aired last night on "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" on PBS.

BILL LOCKYER: "We currently have sufficient evidence to indict people both within Hewlett-Packard as well as contractors on the outside."

In fact, Lockyer told PBS in no uncertain terms: "Crimes have been committed:"

LOCKYER: "People's identity was taken falsely, it's a crime. People accessed computer records that have personal information, that's a crime."

Up to now there's been little effect on HP's stock, but some analysts are now wondering if the prospect of a lingering legal storm may yet rattle investors.

In Los Angeles, I'm Bob Moon for Marketplace.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.

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